No, this isn’t a behind the music look at the song that was drilled into your head during high school dances.
Andrew (Cooper Raiff) has just graduated from Tulane University in “Cha Cha Real Smooth” and is hoping to visit his girlfriend in Barcelona before the end of the summer, but still seems a bit lost. Not long after returning home, he goes to a bar mitzvah with his younger brother David (Evan Assante) and meets Domino (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter Lola (Vanessa Burghardt).
Andrew ends up being a hit at the party, with people liking how he was able to get people out on the dance floor and have fun. He’s then hired as a party starter for other bar mitzvahs. As he continues to work at the bar mitzvah events, he begins to get closer to Domino, gives advice to his brother who has a crush, and connects with Lola, who has autism, all while navigating what’s next in life.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Post college struggles well portrayed in ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’”
Hauntings are fairly common in horror films but “The Black Phone,” thankfully, puts a new twist on the concept.
The movie follows middle school student Finney (Mason Thames), a kid who lives in mid-size Colorado city with his sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) and father Terrence (Jeremy Davies). The community where Finney resides has been in a state of terror lately as several children have gone missing in recent weeks.
The suspect is only known as the Grabber (Ethan Hawke), and eventually, Finney becomes a target. Now kidnapped and locked in a basement, Finney has to try to survive, and ends up getting help from the spirits of the Grabber’s other victims, who speak with the protagonist through a disconnected black phone.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Black Phone’ is a frightening delight”
Some sports biopics inspire, others make you laugh, and there are those that do both.
“Phantom of the Open,” unfortunately, isn’t such a film.
The movie tells the true story of Maurice Flitcroft (Mark Rylance) a middle class shipping worker in an English port town. Upon hearing that the company he works for may be downsizing in the years to come, he begins considering what else he can do in life.
After a night of watching golf on TV, he decides to try his luck at the sport, entering the 1976 Open Championship. The only problem is Flitcroft is a complete amateur entering a professional competition. Despite this, he goes forward with support from his family.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Phantom of the Open’ is a below average biopic”
“Lightyear” may feature rocket ships that can reach incredible heights, but the movie itself can’t manage to get a high rating.
As the film points out at the very start, “Lightyear” is a movie released in the “Toy Story” universe that Andy watched before getting his Buzz Lightyear action figure. The film tells the story of how Lightyear is a space ranger who was part of a mission that went wrong.
The botched mission caused him and several others aboard a massive ship to become stranded on an alien world. To leave the planet, Buzz (Chris Evans) begins testing hyperspace fuel cells in single-man ships to try and find a way to leave the planet, but doing so causes him to go years into the future.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Yearning for more from ‘Lightyear’”
The latest entry in the “Jurassic” series is out, meaning another trilogy in the franchise is complete.
All of the films have been commercially successful, raking in cash at theaters. However, when it comes to quality, it varies.
Having watched the sixth installment, it’s a good time to rank all six films, from worst to best.
Continue reading “Ranking the ‘Jurassic’ Movies”
Mr. Trevorrow, after careful consideration I’ve decided not to endorse your trilogy.
Colin Trevorrow is back in the directing chair for “Dominion,” after writing the second “Jurassic World” film and helming the first. This movie picks up several months after the conclusion of “Fallen Kingdom,” with dinosaurs now living among humanity, for better and for worse.
Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who worked at the Jurassic World theme park are now looking after Maisie (Isabella Sermon), who was orphaned in the previous installment. Drs. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) meanwhile, reunite to investigate a large locust species that are destroying crops, which are linked to the company Biosyn, which has its own dinosaur research.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Third ‘Jurassic World’ is mostly a waste of time”
In the “Crimes of the Future” world, there are two separate, yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime, and an organ registry office to track human evolution.
These are their stories.
In the future portrayed in this film, humanity has evolved to the point where people no longer experience pain and are immune to infectious diseases. Evolution hasn’t stopped there, though, with some humans having bodies that create additional organs with no function, and others having a digestive system that can dissolve plastic.
Both evolutionary traits have gotten the attention of government agencies. Thanks to a man named Saul (Viggo Mortenson), the former trait has also gotten attention in cultural circles. He has made the removal of these organs into a show, as he allows an audience to watch these surgeries, which are conducted by an artist named Caprice (Lea Seydoux).
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Crimes of the Future’ is a fascinating sci-fi creation”
As a Timberwolves fan, I was happy to see Minnesota star basketball player Anthony Edwards featured in this film.
Unfortunately, he plays an antagonistic character in “Hustle,” so the audience isn’t supposed to like him. Quite the dilemma.
The main focus of “Hustle,” though, is Stanley Sugerman (Adam Sandler), a scout for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers team. At the film’s start, Sugerman appears to have a chance at moving up from a scout to an assistant coach, but the promotion is dashed when a change of ownership takes place.
Sugerman is at first upset about having to go abroad to scout players again, but his mentality changes when he comes across a street-ball player named Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangomez) in Spain. Sugerman knows it’s a long shot because the 76ers don’t appear entirely interested in Cruz because of his lack of association play, but Sandler’s character still brings him to the United States, convinced that the player can get drafted by a pro team.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Hustle’ has enough highlights to be worth seeing”
Tom Cruise has been a major actor in Hollywood for a while, but as a 90s kid, I didn’t start seeing his movies regularly until the mid-2000s.
Perhaps his best work during that period was his performance as the cold, calculating hitman in 2004’s “Collateral.” That period also saw him appear in “Mission: Impossible III,” a movie credited with rejuvenating the franchise.
Two films from that era that I remember most fondly, though, are his Japanese period piece “The Last Samurai” and the “War of the Worlds” remake. Both films have received mixed reception, but I found them to be strong pictures.
Continue reading “Retrospect Reviews: ‘War of the Worlds and “Last Samurai’”
In the past 20 years, sequels have been made to 80s franchises like “Rambo,” “Rocky,” “Die Hard” and “Indiana Jones.”
It just feels right that “Top Gun” joins the club.
“Maverick” follows the titular character (Tom Cruise) as he enters what looks to be the last stage of his career. Rather than move on to other ranks and jobs, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell has remained a captain in the United States Navy, with the decision based on his love of being a pilot.
At the request of Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), Maverick is taken off his current assignment as a test pilot for new aircraft and placed back in San Diego at Top Gun. He was chosen because he’s the only pilot with enough experience to train the top aviators in the country for a dangerous, nearly impossible mission. The situation is complicated by Maverick’s guilt, though, as his late wingman’s son Bradley (Miles Teller) is one of the pilots he intends to train.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Maverick’s new mission in ‘Top Gun’ sequel is worth seeing”